Constructivism and Behaviourism

Constructivismand Behaviourism

Constructivismand Behaviourism&nbsp

Constructivismis the study of a student’s construction of knowledge. The learnerconstructs the knowledge from personal experience, as well as fromthe interactions with the environment (Dickand Carey, 2014).In addition, the learner makes use of any new information to come upwith a new meaning using his or her beliefs, experiences, andattitudes as references. In the constructivist model, instructor actsas facilitators in the construction of knowledge while learners asactive participants. There are two types of constructivism model:social constructivism and cognitive constructivism.

Onthe other hand, behaviourism&nbspisa learning process that associates a stimulus with a response toproduce a new behaviour. Teachers use the techniques of reinforcementand punishment to encourage desirable behaviours, as well asdiscourage unwanted behaviours. This model refers a learner as apassive person hence, can respond to stimuli. Dicket. al., (2014), states that a learner starts as a clean slate, andit is the teacher’s responsibility to shape the learner’sbehaviours by reinforcement. Punishment decreases the learner’sprobability of repeating the same behaviour. On the other hand,reinforcement boosts the probability of behaviour repetition.

Thearticle “Beyond active learning: a constructivist approach tolearning” by Susan E. and Elizabeth K. is an example of an articlewith a constructivist approach. This article discusses constructivelearning elements and their application (Coopersteinand Kocevar-Weidinger, 2004).The article, “A retrospective on Behavioural Approaches to HumanLanguage- and some Promising New Developments” by James Owen is anexample of an article with behaviourism&nbspapproach(Owen,2002).Taking an example of intellectual skill as instruction goal, the bestapproach to use is constructivism. This is because the learners takefull control of the learning situation hence, they develop anunderstanding of the problem at hand and comprehend the topic.Eventually, through their experiences, they construct knowledge.Generally, constructivist activities are real world based hence,relevant to learners.


Cooperstein,S. E., &amp Kocevar-Weidinger, E. (2004). Beyond active learning: aconstructivist approach to learning.&nbspReferenceServices Review,&nbsp32(2),141-148.

Dick,W., &amp Carey, L. (2014). The systematic design of instruction.Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman.

Owen,J. L. (2002). A retrospective on behavioral approaches to humanlanguage–and some promising new developments.&nbspAmericanCommunication Journal,&nbsp5(3).